If life were a video game, the blogger John Sclazi explained recently, "straight white male" would be the "the lowest difficulty setting there is".
In the new networked world that we live in, those people who have what has historically been referred to as feminine leadership characteristics - transparency, group collaboration, listening, seeking a win/win, non-hierarchical management styles - have an unfair advantage. The carrot is effective; sticks no longer work in a multi-stakeholder ecosystem.
But this doesn't mean that only women win.
One of the entrepreneurs that I've worked with since 2004, Alastair Lukies, founded a mobile banking business, Monitise, which is now listed on the London Stock Exchange, and worth $500 million. It enables you to check your balance and transfer cash from your mobile phone via any bank, any mobile phone, any mobile carrier.
Lukies made a statement at the beginning of Monitise which some took to be off-hand, but which was central to his strategy: "if this (mobile banking) is going to work, it has to work for everyone". Sounds obvious? Well, yes, but that's the nature of feminine strength - it's not bluster, not a missile... it's just common sense. With multiple parties in the transaction (the bank, the mobile carrier, the user), it does actually have to work for everyone. And Monitise created a business model where everyone wins. As a result, it got pulled into the industry.
But Lukies, who has more feminine strength than many women I know, did more than that. He found the change agent inside of the big banks, and made them a hero for adopting Monitise. As a David, trying to secure Goliath clients, that doesn't come from bravado or arrogance, but thoughtful and persistent demonstration of the advantages of being part of the Monitise ecosystem. Monitise now service more than 250 financial institutions. Banks don't sign up to the new new thing because someone tells them to. They respond to exacting demonstration of the benefits to them. Less Mad Men than Smart Influence
So if smart men are stealing from the playbook of smart women, why aren't there more women running FTSE 100 companies? Given them time.
I tell all of my girlfriends - build your own cathedral, don't try to crash through someone else's glass ceiling. You don't win by playing by someone else's rules. Build your own game.
It's not that women are less risk-averse or competitive. It's just that we've been playing cricket to the rules of football.
Even if there is discrimination, smart women shouldn't point it out. Don't get mad, don't even get even. Just become the leader of your industry. Define your goals, and steel yourself with the armour of knowing you have a unique contribution to make to the universe.
Oprah reportedly said once that an early boyfriend said to her, "you know what your problem is, you actually think you are someone." Well said. Actually, you are. Build your own cathedral. Change your industry. Make your unique contribution to the world.
As I argue in my new book, Welcome to Entrepreneur Country - What it is, How to find it, Why you should visit, those with empathy and emotional intelligence combined with steel, perseverance and psychotic optimism will trump the Mad Men everyday.
In the 21st century, the smart money is on women.